My Great Island Curried Chicken Salad Plate has a definite tropical spring break vibe with a tumble of colorful mixed fruit anchored by a big scoop of curried chicken salad (made with coconut and macadamia nuts.) It’s paradise!
Pull up a fork for #6 in my Main Course Salad Challenge, (which has been extended through April!) where I’m sharing a hearty main course salad every Wednesday to inspire you to go green once a week this season, and hopefully beyond.
A burst of spring weather inspired this light bright dinner. Serve this fruity main course salad with a glass of Pelegrino, a Long Island iced tea, or a nice Sauvignon Blanc. After you’ve finished snapping pics of it put away your phone and dig in, you won’t be disappointed. The beauty of the colors and textures translates directly to great flavors ~ it’s a wonderful meal.
Here’s a recap of my main course salad recipes so far ~ they’re all great ways to lighten up your meal planning:
Main course Salad #1 ~ Salmon Cobb Salad
Main Course Salad #2 ~ Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (balela salad)
Main Course Salad #3 ~ Shrimp Taco Salad
Main Course Salad #4 ~ Chopped Chef Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing
Main Course Salad #5 ~ Burger Salad Bowl
This salad is based on one I have every time I visit my Dad in Florida. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you might know I go down regularly, and always come back with wonderful recipe ideas, usually with a tropical flair.
My favorite lunch spot overlooks the ocean, and we always sit outside so we can watch the flocks of pelicans glide by and maybe even catch some spinner sharks leaping out of the water. They serve a plate like this with a choice of chicken, tuna, or egg salad. You can even have small scoops of all three, if you want. That’s surrounded by a jewel toned wreath of ripe fruit and it’s utterly spectacular. In Florida they garnish it with an orchid, so of course I did too!
Today I made my copy cat version with a curried chicken salad studded with apples, raisins, coconut, and macadamia nuts, which really ups the ‘island’ factor.
The mix of perfectly ripe colorful fruit can only be described as decadently healthy ~ it’s an over the top feast for the senses.
Choose yours according to what’s in season and best in your area. I used melons, pineapple, kiwi, mango, papaya, grapes, berries, and citrus segments. The main thing is that it be wonderful and fresh.
Tips for making a fabulous fruit salad ~
We’ve all had those meh fruit salads, the ones where the fruit is in huge, rock hard chunks, and it’s more of a garnish than something delicious to eat. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want your fruit salad to be as fun to eat as it is to look at:
- Fruit should be ripe. That’s a no brainer. If you’re unsure, ask the produce manager, they know. Or buy from your local farmers market.
- Purchase your fruit a few days in advance if there is any doubt about the ripeness. Let it sit out on the counter until needed.
- Cut the fruit into bite sized pieces, when possible.
- Go for a variety of shapes, some cubes, some balls, some slices. Keep berries whole when possible.
- Don’t cut your fruit too far in advance, fruit starts to degrade almost immediately. Melons and citrus do a little better in advance.
- A squeeze of fresh lime wakes up the flavors.
- If you don’t want to buy whole melons or a whole pineapple you can sometimes find good quality ripe fruit ready cut in your produce section.
Great Island Salad Plate
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 heaped Tbsp mango chutney, or other sweet chutney
- 1 tsp curry powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 apple, chopped, no need to peel
- 1 Tbsp raisins
- 1 Tbsp shredded coconut, sweetened is ok
- 2 Tbsp chopped roasted macadamia nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 leaves of leafy green lettuce, washed and dried
- assorted fruit, chopped or sliced such as:
- strawberries, halved or quartered
- kiwi, peeled and sliced
- mango, peeled and sliced
- papaya, peeled and sliced
- pineapple, remove rind and core and cut in chunks
- watermelon, cut in small chunks
- cantaloupe, scooped with a melon baller
- honeydew melon, scooped with a melon baller
- grapes, some whole, some halved
- pink grapefruit, supremed
- Mix the mayo with the chutney and curry powder. Add more curry powder if you like it stronger.
- Blend the chicken with the dressing, and then fold in the rest of the ingredients.
- Place 2 leaves of lettuce in the center of each of two wide shallow individual salad bowls. Place a scoop of chicken salad on top of the lettuce.
- Surround the chicken salad with the fruit. You can mix it up, or arrange each type of fruit separately.
- Serve right away with lime wedges, and a sprinkle of coconut.
Make this Great Island Salad Plate your own ~
- Make a large salad to serve more, just double or triple the chicken salad and arrange it all on a large platter.
- For a vegetarian option use cottage cheese, tabbouleh, or couscous instead of chicken salad.
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